John Nielsen

John has over 20 years experience in a range of marine and terrestrial consulting and research projects.

He has a reputation for being a careful, detailed planner and highly competent in communicating on complex issues. He also has wide-ranging experience communicating with multicultural audiences at varying levels of technical knowledge.

Knowledgeable, considered and passionate about his work – John is an invaluable environmental resource for any project.


  • Principal Environmental Advisor, Sustainability Pty Ltd, 2004 - present
  • Principal Environmental Scientist, IRC Environment, 1999-2004
  • Consultant Marine Ecologist, Kinhill Pty Ltd, 1997-1999
  • Marine Ecologist, WA Museum, 1996
  • Experimental Scientist, CSIRO Division of Fisheries, 1992-1996
  • Marine Ecologist, School of Biological Sciences, Murdoch University, 1988-1992


  • Bachelor of Science (Biology), Curtin University
  • BSc (Honours), Murdoch University
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Cleaner Production, Curtin University
  • RABQSA Registered Environmental Auditor
  • International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI) Registered Lead Auditor


John has extensive experience with:

  • Petroleum exploration and production
  • Mining
  • Port Operations
  • Projects operating out of Australia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

John is highly competent in:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Developing and implementing environmental management systems, programs and operational procedures.
  • Statistical analysis and data interpretation.
  • Training and communicatio
  • Decommissioning and closure plannin
  • Environmental Auditing.


His specific Environmental capabilities include:

  • Environmental Risk Assessment - facilitating environmental risk assessment workshops.
  • Environmental Management Plans – preparing EMPs.
  • Environmental Approvals - facilitating project approvals.
  • Environmental Legislation - assessing proposals and providing advic
  • Environmental Impact Assessment - leading EIA studies.
  • Environmental Support - providing in-house support for resource projects and operations.
  • Environmental Auditing – auditing against
  • ICMI and ISO14001 standards.

John’s environmental research topics have included:

  • The effects of petroleum and infrastructure developments on marine communities.
  • The effects of waste water on marine ecosystems.
  • Biology and ecology of marine organisms.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE During his time with Sustainability, John has completed project work for most of our Environmental Clients, including:

Woodside Energy Ltd

  • Conducting a review of the Greater Western Flank Phase 1 Environment Plan against the NOPSEMA guidelines.
  • Conducting an audit of the Banambu Deep-1 Exploration Well drilling program
  • Conducting an audit of the Curt 3D Seismic survey.

ERM Power

  • Facilitating project approvals for a gas-fired power station in the Mid-West region of Western Australia.

Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore Ltd

  • Facilitating project approvals for Cliffs’ Cockatoo Island Stage 3 Iron Ore development and Koolyanobbing A/B/C iron ore deposits.
  • Reviewing the Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure (PRAC) Strategy for Cliffs’ Cockatoo Island operations.
  • Preparing the Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Management System for Cliffs’ Koolyanobbing Operations.
  • High level environmental aspects and impacts analysis for a confidential iron ore project in the Mid-West region of WA.

Mongolia Energy Corporation

  • Due diligence review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Khushuut Coal Project, Western Mongolia.
  • Preparation of Environmental, Social and Safety Policies to ICMM Sustainability Guidelines.

Sundance Resources

  • Due diligence review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Mbalam Iron Ore Project, Cameroon.


  • ISO 14001 audits of Newmont’s gold operations within the Asia-Pacific region, including Tanami Operations, Australia, and
  • Waihi Operations, New Zealand.
  • Conducting audits of Newmont’s dangerous goods supply chain to mine sites such as Batu Hijau (Indonesia), Tanami (Australia) and Waihi (New Zealand).

Eni Australia

  • Developing environmental approvals documentation for Eni’s exploration drilling programs in the in Timor-Leste sovereign waters, JPDA, northwest shelf and Perth Basin areas.

Southgobi Sands LLC

  • Project managing baseline environmental studies of the Tsaagan Tolgoi coal deposit, including preparing work scopes, evaluating environmental consultants and reviewing technical reports.
  • Preparing an EIA for the Ovoot Coal Project including gap analysis against World Bank EIA standards, supervision of Mongolian national environmental consultants, and in- house environmental support for the project engineering team.

Ivanhoe Mines

  • Environmental due diligence review of the Bolshevik Gold Project, Kazakhstan, including assessing environmental liabilities and asset retirement obligations.

Department of Mines and Petroleum

  • Compliance auditing of Environment Division’s Oil Spill Contingency Plan assessments against the Department’s assessment protocol.

Barrick Gold of Australia

  • Conducting an internal audit/gap analysis at the Plutonic site for compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code.